Bolton’s Tim Ream trains with former club Red Bulls

IMAGE, NEWYORKREDBULLS.COM

There was a familiar face at Red Bull Arena Friday afternoon.

New York’s 2010 second round draft pick and current Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year Tim Ream returned to Harrison, taking part in light training with his former club.

“It’s great,” said former teammate and current Red Bull boss Mike Petke. “It’s great to have Tim back, you know. If we could afford him right now, we’d probably try to bring him back.”

It’s a sentiment veteran midfielder Dax McCarty echoes. “It’s great to have Ream back, man,” he says. “He was a guy that was here when I first got here. Young, American guy who had been on the team for a year and had done really well, so it was good, he was a guy that helped me settle in.”

Ream has found success in England after years of struggle. The St. Louis native stuck with Bolton Wanderers through relegation and coaching changes, finally finding a niche for himself as an all-purpose midfielder and defender for the club.

“Obviously he had a tough go of it in England, I think, his first couple of years there,” McCarty said. “I told him, “Look, man, I’m real proud of you for sticking it out and staying on the same team instead of moving around and trying to find a better situation,” because now you see where he is now; he’s voted the Player of the Year for their team and obviously, their pushing for, I think, they’re safe now in the [Sky Bet] Championship but they’re going to push for promotion next year, so, I’m really happy for him.”

His work drew accolades from team boss Dougie Freedman who declared “we could use more like Tim Ream,” citing the young American’s willingness to put team before self.

Ream’s work at the club level has made him a borderline option for the U.S. Men’s National Team. While selected for duty against Ukraine in March, Ream withdrew consideration after the birth of his son.

The USMNT continues to be thin at defense, and inexperienced at centerback. Ream’s recent work can catapult him back into the conversation for the World Cup, and training with his former team will ensure his fitness if called upon.

While Ream works to make his World Cup dreams a reality, his former teammates are just happy to have him back in the fold.

“Tim’s doing well over in England, you know, Player of the Year at Bolton,” said Petke. “He’s a guy that I have a history with, a close friend of mine, and it’s just weird, but it’s great to have him back in here right now, back on Red Bull Arena where he started his professional career.”

“He’s obviously a great player, nobody needs to be a genius to see that and it’s good to have him back out here,” McCarty says. “It gives us a little boost to see an old friend.”


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